Ronaldinho has been released from a house arrest in Paraguay after agreeing on a guilty plea over a fake passport charge
Ronaldinho and his brother were arrested in March and spent 32 days in prison before being transferred on a house arrest
Unlike Ronaldinho, his brother will now have a criminal record in Paraguay and will be prohibited to leave Brazil for two years
Brazilian football legend Ronaldinho has been freed from house arrest in Paraguay after agreeing on a guilty plea over a fake passport charge.
Five months after being detained in a hotel in Asuncion, Ronaldinho and his brother, Roberto Assis, have gained liberty after paying a total of $200,000 in fine as part of the agreement on the guilty plea.
The brothers were arrested at the Resort Yacht and Golf Club Paraguay in March after they were found using fake passports to enter the country as they were about to head over a number of promotional events.
They then had spent 32 days in the maximum-security Agrupacion Especializada prison before being transferred to a house arrest by virtue of a $1.6 million bail posted by their lawyers.
In his defense, Ronaldinho said in April that they were not aware that their passports were fake at the time.
“We were totally surprised to learn that the documents were not legal. Since then our intention has been to collaborate with the justice system to clarify the facts,” the 40-year-old told ABC Color, via Goal.
“From that moment until today, we have explained everything and facilitated everything that has been requested of us. It was a hard blow, I never imagined that I would go through such a situation. All my life I have sought to reach the highest professional level and bring joy to people with my football.”
It was a nightmare of an experience for the football icon, according to former Paraguay international Nelson Cuevas.
“Ronaldinho is not happy at all,” Cuevas told CNN Radio after visiting the former Ballon d’Or winner. “What distinguishes him is his smile, his good energy, his way of being but today, due to the situation he is going through, that smile is lost because he is in prison which is a place he is not accustomed to.”
With his release, the former Barcelona star is now free to return to Brazil. Reports also stated that he could be allowed to leave at any time under certain conditions. However, he is ordered to present himself periodically to Brazilian authorities for two years.
But while Ronaldinho enjoys the benefits of being free, his brother, on the other hand, was not given the same blessing.
Unlike Ronaldinho, Assis will now have a criminal record in Paraguay and will be prohibited to leave Brazil during the same two-year span.